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Nature reserve

Großer Stein

Nature reserve · Burbach · 532 m · open today
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  • NSG Großer Stein
    NSG Großer Stein
    Photo: Gemeinde Burbach
Map / Großer Stein
The cone-shaped basalt hilltop of the “Großer Stein” (big rock) nature conservation area and its large, treeless heap of basalt boulders above Holzhausen still provide evidence of volcanic activity to this day.
Over 20 million years ago, the high Westerwald forest was part of a very active volcanic area. North of the sealed sheet of basalt, the “Kleine Stein” (little rock) and pronounced, cone-shaped “Großer Stein” hilltop and open “Blockmeer” (sea of boulders) still bear witness to this. This is a volcanic rock that was burst asunder

during the Ice Age when a volcanic vent was wedged with ice. In many places, the pieces of rock are covered with lush moss and lichen. Stone runs are an absolute rarity in NRW and therefore require special protection. The core region is designated as a natural forest cell which may not be used for forestry. With the smallest space, you can find a natural, unforested stone run in the “Großer Stein” nature conservation area and various forms of mixed beech forests with a world of plants and animals that require special protection.

“Großen Stein” is also the subject of many myths and sagas, such as the giants who played bowling at Großer Stein using basalt rocks. Find out more about this nature conservation area in the information sheet from the Rothaar Mountains Biological Station: Natural treasures of South Westphalia

The region can be hiked along the signposted local hiking trails from Burbach, Lützeln and Holzhausen or from the Rothaarsteig.

Opening hours

open today


Profile picture of Cornelia Oerter
Cornelia Oerter
Update: August 13, 2020

Public transport

You can get to the Burbach district of Holzhausen by taking the Hellertalbahn, the timetable can be found here.

By road

To get there, take the A 45 Haiger-Burbach exit in the direction of Burbach on the L 531, then turn left at the next crossing onto the L 730 to the district of Holzhausen. At the roundabout take the first exit in the direction of the centre and follow this road until the “Zum großen Stein” turn-off.


At the end of the “Zum großen Stein” road there is a hiking car park by the old forester’s lodge on the left near the natural pond.


50.730561, 8.115721
50°43'50.0"N 8°06'56.6"E
32U 437592 5620235
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Großer Stein

Zum großen Stein
57299 Burbach
Phone 02736/45-38 (Touristinfo Burbach)

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